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Kshama Sawant files appeal with state Supreme Court over recall petition

Kshama Sawant. (KIRO Radio/Matt Pitman)

In the wake of a judge allowing a recall petition against Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant to move into the signature gathering phase, Sawant has filed an appeal in hopes of overturning the ruling.

Judge approves Sawant recall effort for signature phase

Sawant filed the appeal with the Washington State Supreme Court on Oct. 2. King County Judge Jim Rogers had ruled on Sept. 17 that a recall petition filed by Ernest Lou could move forward, upholding four of six charges levied by Lou.

Judge Rogers dismissed two charges, which had claimed that Sawant encouraged the occupation of the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct, and that she helped to create the CHOP. The four charges he upheld included those related to Sawant opening Seattle City Hall during an evening march in June, and leading a protest to Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s home.

If the state Supreme Court confirms the lower court ruling, Lou would have to collect just over 10,700 certified paper signatures from registered voters, a number that would constitute 25% of total votes cast in the last District 3 election.

That would then trigger a simple “yes” or “no” recall vote, which would have to take place on a previously scheduled election date. If Lou gathers enough signatures in time, the earliest possible date for a recall vote would be a special election on Feb. 9, 2021.

Rantz: Seattle man says he was fired over Sawant recall effort

A similar series of events have been playing out for a recall petition filed against Mayor Durkan. In mid-July, a King County judge allowed it to move into the signature gathering phase. A lengthy appeals process, though, has seen that process drag on for roughly three months.

Durkan’s lawyers had initially sought to draw out that timeline even further, originally pushing for a series of deadlines that would have seen the battle over approving the signature phase extend into late November. Ultimately, the court agreed to hear an opening brief from Durkan on Aug. 31, receive a response from petitioners on Sept. 14, a reply from Durkan on Sept. 17, and then a final reply from petitioners on Sept. 22. A final decision is expected any day now.

Court dates have yet to be sussed out for Sawant’s appeal, should the state Supreme Court decide to hear it.

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